Where to watch Friday’s lunar eclipse; weekend weather looks OK

It’s kind of a big deal, but we won’t see it in North America. I’m talking about Friday’s total lunar eclipse.

I like this description, from skyandtelescope:

104 minutes. That’s the length of the longest lunar totality of the 21st century. And it happens Friday, July 27th, when the Moon creeps into Earth’s umbra like some thief in the night.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

A lunar eclipse will be visible over much of the Earth on July 27, 2018. At least part of the eclipse will be visible in all major land areas except North and Central America, with totality visible in the the Middle East, India, parts of central Asia and eastern and southern Africa.

The eclipse will start 1:14 p.m. EDT (17:14 Universal Time, or UTC), with the moon fully eclipsed between 3:30 p.m. and 5:13 p.m. EDT (19:30 and 21:13 UTC). It will end at 7:28 p.m. EDT (23:28 UTC).

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.

NASA TV will carry live views of the eclipse from approximately 2:15 p.m. EDT (14:15 UTC) until as late as 6:30 p.m. EDT (18:30 UTC).

Here’s a map of the areas that will see all or part of Friday’s eclipse:


By the way, the next total lunar eclipse visible from North America will be on Jan. 20, 2019.

Mars update

In a few days, Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth since 2003.

According to skyandtelescope:

After a slow crawl across the predawn darkness earlier this year, Mars is finally moving into the evening sky — just as it comes its closest to Earth in 15 years. According to Sky & Telescope magazine, the two planets’ centers will be separated by just 35,784,871 miles or 57,590,017 km on July 31st at 3:50 a.m. EDT (7:50 Universal Time).

You will be able to see Mars to the lower right of the moon tonight:

Moonrise is at 8:49 p.m. CDT in the Twin Cities tonight, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Temps rebound a bit

The temp dropped to 58 degrees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Friday morning.

We hadn’t seen an official Twin Cities low temp below 60 degrees since June 13!

In northern Minnesota, Big Fork and Hibbing had morning lows in the upper 30s.

Highs Friday will be a few degrees warmer than yesterday’s highs, with 70s common statewide.

We’ll also see a lot of 70s this Saturday:

70s will be widespread on Sunday too:

A few spots in the Twin Cities metro area and southeastern Minnesota could touch 80 Sunday afternoon.

Twin Cities highs return to the lower 80s on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Rain chances

The best chance of a Saturday afternoon or evening shower or thunderstorm appears to be in southwestern Minnesota. Elsewhere in Minnesota, an isolated shower or thunderstorm will be possible.

On Sunday, scattered afternooon-early evening showers and a thunderstorm will be possible anywhere in Minnesota.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern this weekend:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Saturday through Sunday evening, via tropicaltidbits

Some areas that appear to be rain-free in the loop could see some rain, but the loop shows the scattered nature of any weekend rains.

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.